Ingram Micro Community Partners Get On Board with Cloud

Ingram Micro community members take different paths to build their cloud business.

Lynn Haber

March 25, 2019

7 Min Read
All Aboard

Cloud plays a big role in the conversations Ingram Micro SMB Alliance and Trust X community members have with their customers — and is now a big part in shaping their businesses.

Continuing our coverage of the Ingram Micro Cloud partner journey, Channel Futures caught up with Deepak Thadani, president and CEO of SCO Cloud and president of SysIntegrators; and Mark Essayian, president KME Systems, at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X. Thadani also is advisory council president for the SMB Alliance,

While the cloud journey for each of these partner businesses is unique, having a vision and executing is something they have in common.

Thadani, who founded SCO Cloud, is astute. Almost then years ago. he saw the shift from on-premises equipment to the cloud and knew that his SysIntegrators customers with aging IT systems weren’t going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on infrastructure to get where they needed to go. Both of Thadani’s businesses are in Armonk, New York.


SCO Cloud’s Deepak Thadani

“So, I thought, I can push them to some public cloud where I don’t have very much control, but I’m a control freak and I wanted to be careful with my customer’s data, and if I told them that I’m hosting it here, they’d listen, and if something went wrong then it’s on me,” he said.

In 2009, SCO Cloud was born.

“The best way for me to mitigate that responsibility was to take control of it myself,” he said.

SysIntegrators is a traditional MSP business founded in 2000. Why build a separate company rather than add a cloud practice to SysIntegrators?

The entrepreneur needed startup capital to build the business, buy equipment and attract partners.

“I thought it was cleaner to have two separate focuses,” he said.

SCO Cloud brings in resellers and MSPs to host their customers on the company’s data centers. SCO Cloud has four data centers in the U.S. – Las Vegas; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland; and Hawthorne, New York, with a fifth data center scheduled to open soon in Atlanta. scoCloud does three things: infrastructure hosting, backup and disaster recovery.

According to Thadani, he offers a specialized cloud, what he describes as a higher-grade cloud with white-glove service.

“We’ll log into on-premises systems for customers, configure firewalls, set up VPN tunnels and make sure their all their terminals work,” he said. “Because we have the IT company; we have that background to provide a deeper level of service.”

SysIntegrators focuses on network security, virtualization and Unix and Linux. The company moves customers to SCO Cloud and gets paid a commission for doing so, as do all of the cloud partner’s resellers.

SCO Cloud works in the SMB space, from a small scrapyard, tire shop or dentist office, for example, to a big health insurance company or retailer with multiple locations across the state. SysIntegrators customers are primarily in the Northeast unless they have branch offices in other states.

“Because we do Linux and Unix, we get customers from all around the country because it’s a little harder to do than Windows,” said Thadani.

The partner is a loyal and longtime Ingram Micro customer so it’s a no-brainer that Thadani attends Cloud Summit. It’s an opportunity to meet the vendors that Ingram Micro showcases at the event.

“They vet them for me so I know if there’s an add-on service I want to add to my business or a new feature or functionality that we don’t want to build ourselves, they show us a bunch of partners we can partner with, and vendors we can sell from the marketplace,” he said.

Another big benefit of attending Cloud Summit is …

… networking, catching up with SMB Alliance friends and sharing ideas. Thadani doesn’t sell any solutions in the Ingram Micro Cloud marketplace today but it’s something he’s exploring.

Other goals for SCO Cloud include adding features such as real-time replication for disaster recovery; growing the business; and continually improving what they do.

“We look at each piece [of the business] as a subset and look at what can we do to improve the process,” said Thadani. The company has added monitoring tools to help customers know if they have over- or underprovisioned machines, more security, and so on.

KME Systems Inc.

KME Systems of Lake Forest, California, founded in 1993, has been an MSP for the past 10 years. Mark Essayian, president and founder, calls KME Systems an MSP 2.0, helping customers on their business journeys. KME is an Ingram Micro Trust X member.

“There’s MSP 1.0 and MSP 2.0, but the 1.0 people are technical janitors. If you’re in a presentation and someone is telling you, ‘I’ll patch your servers, I’ll run antivirus on your PCs, I’m going to protect your Internet,’ I [think] — ‘and you’re going to sell me a car with four wheels?’ If I’m going to buy a car it had better come with four wheels,” Essayian said.


KME Systems’ Mark Essayian

Technical janitor services are important, but where that technical part ends, an MSP 2.0 helps the customer on its business journey. KME has an outcome process it uses with customers that’s designed to enhance their business with technology.

That includes a conversation with the customers about how they want to acquire technology — on-premises or cloud. KME utilizes SaaS, IaaS and hybrid cloud to help them work better with clients, who know that their partner will deploy best-of-breed solutions.

About seven years ago, KME started to look at cloud solutions offered through Ingram Micro.

“We didn’t do much then but stayed in touch with the team and watched as more products and processes became available,” said Essayian.

Then KME got active. One of the first SaaS products that KME utilized was McAfee email archiving and security.

“Clients liked the idea of smaller monthly costs and not having equipment onsite. We liked being able to invoice a client more on our MSP agreements, making us stickier,” he said.

Today, every KME MSP client has a major cloud component, such as Office 365, BC/DR or compliance. KME also helps clients on the ISP side to make sure they have internet access.

“Our goal is to continually improve our menu of services so clients can easily choose from offerings, as well as make it easier for KME to transact business,” said Essayian. “When engineers like the tools, when our back office can easily bill and procure, then we can drive costs out of the model — making sure we are executing well internally.”

He was particularly pleased when Ingram Micro’s Renee Bergeron, senior vice president, global cloud, announced direct integration with longtime partner ConnectWise, at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit X.

As Ingram Micro vets more cloud products, KME doesn’t have to worry about having to deal with a dozen vendors and bills — and researching every vendor.

Going forward, KME, a Microsoft partner, wants to do more work with Azure.

“We want to learn more about what workloads SMBs move to the cloud not only for day-to-day, but also for disaster-recovery and business-continuity reasons,” said Essayian.

He’s also interested in the cloud to enhance security and compliance offerings.

“With the new California [Consumer Privacy Act], we need to do everything we can to assist our clients’ regulatory needs,” he added.

About 60 percent of KME’s revenue comes from its MSP business, the rest from project work for clients — no break-fix.

“We will never take a project on to sacrifice an MSP client,” said Essayian.

KME customers are SMBs. The partner focuses on two core verticals — health care and manufacturing.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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